The Church of England meet to discuss female bishops

Written on:July 6, 2023
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Will 2014 see first women bishops?

The Church of England is gathering at York University today to begin a five-day-long meeting to discuss whether female bishops can be approved.

A vote on Monday will finally decide whether draft legislation to introduce women bishops should finally make its way to the Parliament.

However a postponement of the decision is possible because of protests from pro-women campaigners over a last-minute amendment to the legislation that the Church of England bishops made earlier this year.

The members of the General Synod were written to by a group of senior women clergy including the four female deans of the Church of England cathedrals and eight archdeacons. They were asked to postpone the debate on final approval and send the amendment back to the bishops for re-consideration.

Catering for parishes which would reject the authority of a woman bishop seems to be the debatable issue.

42 out of 44 Church of England dioceses passed draft legislation in which a woman bishop is supposed to refer to a code of practice before delegating authority to a male bishop.

A new clause added in the legislation in May allows male bishops to have views about the ordination of women. Senior female clergy and other campaigners have objected to the clause.

A two-thirds majority in all three Houses of the General Synod, of clergy, laity and bishops is needed for the legislation to get final approval. If the legislation is approved, it will go to the House of Parliament and await Royal Assent to make the way for the first women bishops in 2014.

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